In a Facebook post, the Minister says that in Kerala, such an office functioned under the Archaeology Department’s Thrissur office
Those in possession of antiquities that are over 100 years old should register the items with the Union Archaeology Department’s antiquity registration office to ensure these are antiquities and the persons have the right to possess them legally, Minister for Archaeology Ahammad Devarkovil has said.
In a Facebook post on Wednesday, the Minister said that in Kerala, such an office functioned under the Archaeology Department’s Thrissur office, and the antiquity registration certificate issued by it was the authoritative document that permitted one to possess the antiquities.
The Antiquities and Art Treasures Act, 1972, contained provisions for exchange of antiquities within India. Ownership of an object registered under the Act could change hands. Any antiquities, registered or not, could not be taken by individuals or organisations to countries outside India. Only the Union government had the right to export an antiquity from the country.
In fact, a non-antiquity certificate was needed to sell or export objects that were not antiquities but appeared to be so. The Act had provisions for issuing testimonials that an object did not fall under the antiquities category. Only the Archaeology Department could issue such a testimonial. The certificate was issued after scrutiny by an expert committee, the Minister said.
The Act also had provisions for issuing licence to traders of antiquities and non-antiquities. It was important for the public to get clarity on the right to possess antiquities, and take steps accordingly, the Minister said.
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